I've come across this sentence:

A sudden rap at the door brought her from her reverie.

I think it should have been written as:

A sudden rap at the door brought her back from her reverie.

English is my second language and I'm wondering if the first sentence is accepted in American English.

Oxford dictionaries and other dictionaries online do not list an example of this type of usage, so please help.

  • 2
    By using our real-world knowledge, we naturally make a very strong assumption that she has been brought back [to full awareness] from a temporary reverie. However that is not required by grammar. Both sentences are possible. I prefer the first on stylistic grounds. Additionally, there could be a gradation of states, coma/dream/reverie/wakefulness. In that case the use of 'back' would be inaccurate. Oct 30, 2015 at 14:09

1 Answer 1


The "back" is implied in the first example, if we assume that reverie isn't her usual state. It's not wrong, but leaves something to be filled in by the reader.

The second example is arguably more correct, but it's a little pedantic compared to the first. It depends on the style you want to go for.

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